how to successfully transition students from summer to school?!
September 11, 2017
The heat is a great excuse for indulging ourselves and our children in free time, lemonade and of course ice cream. Summer is truly a magical time filled with less structure, more freedom and fresh air-filled adventures.
But as we dig deeper into August the reality of the new school year begins to emerge, and we know we cannot deny it much longer. Change is coming, and before we know it we will be right in the middle of September,
We know we should begin to plan for the school year, but we do not want to let go of summer. We may lament the end of summer but there may also be some sweet relief when our children are back into the school year routine. The reality is that every season has its beginning and end and our summer is much closer to the end now than the beginning. So, how do we transition ourselves and our children from the summer into the school year without it diminishing our last couple of weeks of freedom?
Gradually Adjust Bedtimes and Wake Times
There’s a reason why so many kids go to bed later and sleep in during the summer: Much of the summer is relatively unstructured for kids. Sure, there are occasional days that necessitate an early start—waking up early to get to camp or make it to swim team practice for example. But most parents allow their kids huge leeway in terms of their summer sleep schedules. A week or so before school starts, experts recommend setting a strict bedtime and making it 10 minutes earlier each subsequent night until it’s appropriate for school.
Similarly, wake them up (or set an alarm in their room) and make the wake-up time 5 or 10 minutes earlier each morning until they’re on an optimal schedule. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that kids get the following amount of sleep:
- Children aged 3 to 5, 10 to 13 hours
- Children aged 6 to 12, 9 to 12 hours
- Children aged 13 to 18, 8 to 10 hours
Ease Into Healthy Eating Routines
Since a large chunk of most kids’ summer fun involves lounging around the house and blissfully doing nothing (often with friends in tow), there may be a large stash of junk food in your house. As summer winds down, let kids finish what’s on hand, but vow to replenish with healthy after-school snacks. Remember that what kids eat has an impact on how well they do in school.
Develop a Game Plan — Together.
Discuss goals for the upcoming year, triumphs from the year before, and some skills he would like to improve. Goals might include:
- Making three new friends or sitting at a different desk every week
- Becoming captain of the football team or
- Making the honor roll
Add more factual brain-bending activities into the everyday mix. Sudoku games, crossword puzzles, word searches, and trivia all encourage your child to sit still, focus, and complete a task from start to finish
Technology can be our friend not our foe.
Encourageyour children to use technology in a positive way by using electronic calendars or scheduling tools. In fact, your children might be able to teach you a lesson or two in the use of these helpful applications. The end of the summer is also a good time to refresh their knowledge though ask them to pay a visit to EKB.EG and discover content for the upcoming semester.
Back to school isn’t just a transition for students, it’s a transition for the entire family. Advance preparation will go a long way toward ensuring it’s a great year for all!